“Usually what will happen is a user becomes the mayor somewhere and asks the manager, ‘What do I get for free?’ ” says Crowley. “The manager at first is usually like, ‘What are you talking about?’ They’ve never heard of Foursquare. Eventually, the manager will break down. It’s an opportunity for us to start turning users not just into evangelists but also salespeople. “So the venues win—anytime someone checks in, it’s like a mini-ad. With the stats tools, you can find out who the most valuable users are to local businesses, like who’s sending their check-ins to Twitter. Maybe the owner wants to reach out to that person.”

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